Accreditation of a public elementary, middle, or high school by NEASC indicates that an educational institution has completed a community-wide self-assessment process and has hosted a visiting team of peers who review the institution in terms of its own stated goals and the Standards for Accreditation of the NEASC Commission on Public Schools.
The award of Accreditation signifies that the school has met the Standards for Accreditation at an acceptable level and is committed to maintain those Standards. Continued Accreditation is dependent upon a school demonstrating ongoing, reflective progress to improve teaching and learning and the support of teaching and learning.
Through the work and consensus of its member schools, the NEASC Committee on Public Elementary, Middle, and High Schools (CPEMHS) offers a set of Standards for Accreditation which include the essential aspects of schooling for K-12 schools in New England. The Standards provide guidance to assess the school's focus on teaching and learning, evaluate the quality of their programs and activities, and identify their strengths and needs.
Though NEASC does not accredit programs serving students below the age of three, interactions with pre-schools and pre-school programs occur through the Committee's accreditation process. Pre-schools’ faculties are encouraged to participate in the school accreditation process using the Standards as a guide. In this manner, pre-school programs in and of themselves are not accredited, but the school which houses the pre-school is permitted to extend the range of its accreditation to Pre-K. For example: a K-5 school that wishes its pre-school program to be included in the accreditation process will be accredited PreK-5. Pre-school programs, up to this point, have not been treated as stand-alone units.